Tuesday Practice Notebook

Mississippi State ran through the standard Tuesday game-week session, working just over two hours on the practice fields. There were no changes noticed at any starting positions, other than for minor injuries that won't affect this weekend's lineup. However, some backup jobs are now in question, particularly on the offensive line rotation.

No less than three of the blockers who should be working as second-teammers at this point of the season were unable to work full-speed or at all Tuesday. Two had been previously reported, both tackles. Freshman Calvin Wilson watched most segments today in a red-cross jersey, still slowed by after-effects from becoming dehydrated in Saturday's game with LSU as well as complaints about chest pains.

Wilson, who rotated in at right tackle with Avery House in both the Georgia and LSU games, is still not entirely in game-condition after late-summer corrective knee surgery and missing over a month of drills. While the true frosh has played a pair of mid-season games now, at Tuesday's press conference Coach Sylvester Croom raised the possibility of holding Wilson out the rest of the season and appealing for a redshirt year. However, Wilson's presence at practice is a strong sign that, for now, plans are still to play him the rest of the campaign.

The other existing injured tackle, James Redmond, returned to the practice field for the first time since his September 10 knee injury at Auburn. That game was his first and only participation of 2005 so far, as Redmond was at the time coming off August back-disc surgery. He strained the MCL in his left knee at Auburn and has been re-habbing since. The goal now is to have him, and probably Wilson as well, ready for the October 22 home game with Houston.

Next week's open date will certainly help them, as well as guard Anthony Dunning. The true freshman has played in all five games at right guard and got the starting series against LSU, though that was because regular starter Johnny Wadley had missed most of the game-week's practices for a family matter.

In the LSU game Dunning aggravated an existing problem in his knee to the point he required minor surgery early this week. The goal is that Dunning also be able to get back in the rotation by Homecoming on October 22.

With those three out, Tuesday's backup line had freshman Craig Jenkins at right tackle, Deo Herrera at right guard, Royce Blackledge at center, freshman Chris Spencer at left guard, and freshman Michael Gates at left tackle. Gates has played in three games this season with significant snaps against Auburn and LSU. Jenkins and Spencer are still in line to redshirt if possible this season.

Two members of the starting lineup were limited Tuesday, one on either side of the line. Halfback Jerious Norwood is still being protected in a yellow shirt after straining his neck in the LSU game. And right cornerback David Heard was guarding a sore shoulder in a purple jersey this day. Both should be able to start as usual at Florida.

And tight end Jason Husband, who still has soreness in his shoulder, wore the yellow shirt again Tuesday. Husband has yet to line up at his primary position but has played on special teams.

Also taking Tuesday off was reserve fullback Taurus Morgan with a sore right knee.

The Bulldogs will practice Wednesday and Thursday, and are scheduled to fly to Orlando Friday with a 2:00 departure. As Croom pointed out at the press conference there will be no Friday walk-through at Florida Field.

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